In this question: Installing fltk on VirtualBox the asker wrote:

Can someone give a very specific step-by-step instruction on how to install it?

The next day fixer1234 posted this comment asking for more information.

This will be easier to answer if you describe what you've tried and what problems you experienced. Assuming you are following some instructions, it isn't working as intended. Some detail on what's happening will help people figure out where the problem might lie.

Three hours later I answered the question giving specific step-by-step instructions and my answer was accepted, however the question was downvoted three times and closed as too broad. I think the problem may have been that the question had built up enough momentum to close it that closing it was at that point was unstoppable and the reviewers thought that I was cheating by guessing that the OP was running a Debian-based operating system as a guest OS in VirtualBox. The rationale of the "too broad" close votes is that the green checkmark shouldn't be misused as a replacement for the question's missing OS tag.

  • We get a number of questions asking for a detailed tutorial on how to install XYZ. I don't think we want to be a tutorial repository for every application, and asking people to write them a tutorial isn't a good fit for the site. It's different if someone describes a specific issue in trying to install something. That OP alluded to experiencing problems, provided no specifics about anything, and asked for a tutorial. In this case, you were able to give a one-command answer. (cont'd)
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 9:45
  • The fact that it solved the OP's problem makes me wonder how much effort or research the OP put in before asking. The OP got his problem solved, and you got a little rep for your effort, but I still think the question, at least as-is, is a low-quality question, and basically not a good fit for the site.
    – fixer1234
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 9:45
  • If this was a recent question I might agree it could be reopened but only because of the small chance it would be improved by the author. After 3 years is there a reason additional answers should be submitted? In the end an argument could be made it shouldn’t have been answered, question might also already exist, which it could be deleted or reclosed as a duplicate of a better more detailed question
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 12:44

1 Answer 1


Well, the question does show a certain amount of lack of research, and the question as is is really poor quality.

I wouldn't count it as a good question. I'm not a fan of spoon feeding either, and this isn't one of those seemingly poor questions that somehow attracted an epic answer, its quite literally linux 101.

I'd be disinclined to reopen the question.

  • OTOH at least one of the five reviewers who closed voted the poor quality question already knew that the OS was Debian-based when he/she closed voted it. It was already downvoted 3 times for being poor quality.
    – karel
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 8:34
  • This is a recent Meta answer that I wrote on the subject of reviewing a question that was flagged as "too broad": meta.askubuntu.com/questions/17759/….
    – karel
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 8:47
  • 2
    You provided your own opinion on an entirely different meta website, but for the completely opposite reasons you provided, I could argue that example question should have been closed.
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 21, 2018 at 12:47
  • @karel Just to clarify I didn't flag the question as "too broad". I was asking if people thought it should be flagged as too broad. I wasn't sure and was seeking input. Waves to all the SuperUsers from his 121 rep point corner Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 0:51
  • @WinEunuuchs2Unix Which is what you should do, when in doubt, not everyone is in doubt about cases like this and that though :-)
    – Ramhound
    Commented Mar 22, 2018 at 7:08

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